Why would someone join the French Foreign Legion?

About Why would someone join the French Foreign Legion?


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April 24th, 2011   #1
I-SHOT-JR
 
 

Why would someone join the French Foreign Legion? info


What sort of a man joins the legion? Leaves everything behind him and signs up for at least five years. I know a lot of people (from south america and eastern europe) sign up for French citizenship or the money. But what about the people with good back grounds and had a good standard of life. I've heard of people joing up after university

I've been mulling it over and the only reasons I think they would join would be as follows. 1. They are dropped into a foreign countries army and learns a new language, it's like a totaly new world and helps them realise them selves. 2. The adventure (though acompanied by boredom and sh!t living conditions). 3. The sense of vocation. 4. It will change you, probably for the better.

Is there anything that would attract someone to the legion? To be honest I only ever heard about it in recent years.
 
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April 25th, 2011   #2
-- Dusty
 
 
Why not?
 
April 25th, 2011   #3
justinsaylor
 
im trying to get to the legoin but cant get ahold of them is anybody out there in the legion?
 
April 25th, 2011   #4
-- Dusty
 
 
How old are you Justin? If they think you are too young they won't even consider wasting their time thinking about talking to you.
 
April 25th, 2011   #5
I-SHOT-JR
 
 
I didn't think it was that hard to get in touch with them. After all I've heard of lads that recieved information brochures from them. AFAIK you simply turn up to one of the recruiting centers when they are activly recruiting, I could be very wrong but this is what I've gathered from the books written by ex legionnaires. Make sure you have enough money with you for a return as there may be a delay or they might not think you are ready ect.


Why not? Well from what I've heard there are a lot of people from eastern europe, some very shadey characters who are simply there to get french citizenshipm who get pissed off with the legion and take it out on other people there...then leg it out of the legion. I hear this is quite a problem now days in the legion...people not joining up for the legion but other motives (some of which would be much easier to get without joining the legion). I guess what I'm trying to say is that the legion of today is not the same as it was back in the day. There might not be as many recruits from USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia ect, so could be some isolation. And a lot of the recruits would be ex-military and others with no military experience could be two groups within the legion. Oh and learning french, and having to speak it all the time.


Why would I join? My countries defence forces are pretty sh!t and recruit only a handful of applicants. I like the challege of the legion; both physically and mentally. joining this unit is something which cannot be repeated in any other setting and is truely unique. I like the thought of doing something extremely hard to help realise myself and discover my limits.

(EDIT: I think I placed this thread in the wrong catagory, is it possible to have it moved to a more suitable catagory)

Last edited by I-SHOT-JR; April 25th, 2011 at 15:14..
 
April 26th, 2011   #6
LeMask
 
- the military training (quality training)
- the pay
- the french citizenship
- a new start
- serve a country with a long and prestigious history
- the military experience with the FFL
- the prestige
- to impress some girl
etc

Take your pick...
 
April 26th, 2011   #7
mmarsh
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I-SHOT-JR
What sort of a man joins the legion? Leaves everything behind him and signs up for at least five years. I know a lot of people (from south america and eastern europe) sign up for French citizenship or the money. But what about the people with good back grounds and had a good standard of life. I've heard of people joing up after university

I've been mulling it over and the only reasons I think they would join would be as follows. 1. They are dropped into a foreign countries army and learns a new language, it's like a totaly new world and helps them realise them selves. 2. The adventure (though acompanied by boredom and sh!t living conditions). 3. The sense of vocation. 4. It will change you, probably for the better.

Is there anything that would attract someone to the legion? To be honest I only ever heard about it in recent years.
Disclaimer: I have never been in the service myself. But I have family in the French military. I can answer what I can, but anything else you need to go here:

http://www.legion-recrute.com/en/

With all due respect, all the reasons you cited would be the wrong reasons. Join the Peace Corp if you want adventure, Move to Paris if you want to speak French, and nobody joins the legion for either girls or the pay. The pay is literally peanuts, and the legion discourages female relationships. You must be single to join, (even if you are married you will be marked as single, meaning no spousal support), marriage is banned for first 5 years and must be approved by a senior NCO.

There are many reasons people join the legion. The two most common are those who want a completely new start and those looking for an extreme challenge in terms of military training. I should caution you about both:

The FFL doesn't just take anybody anymore. If you are wanted on a serious crime not only will they not take you, they will hand your butt to interpol for extradition. YES, THEY DO CHECK. Less serious offenses can be forgiven (check with your FFL recruiter) as long you're in good legal standing. To see if you qualify or not speak to a recruiter (above link). I would also suggest you best be as completely candid about skeletons in your closet as the FFL does check and will kick your a** if they find out you have been lying to them. People with drug or violent histories shouldn't even bother showing up, the FFL doesn't want you.

Furthermore the FFL does attract some rather nasty people, who will bully those they perceive to be weaker then they. Americans especially will want to take notice, as Americans are not very well regarded. Although there are Americans in the legion, Americans will often be discouraged from joining by recruiters. Demographics is constantly changing but right now you see a lot of German, Eastern Europeans, and South Americans joining up.

For people wanting a challenge, go climb Mt. Rainer. Seriously this isn't Xtreme Sports. You serve France, but you are NOT a French soldier, French soldiers are a valuable commodity, legionnaires are considered completely expendable by the Government (even more so than regular soldiers). You will be required to kill other people and of course this means you can be killed or wounded yourself. Expect to be sent to some of the worst places on earth (Ivory Coast/Sudan and Afghanistan are common destinations). The French Government doesn't give a damn about you, so if you are captured don't expect help from the government, the legion takes care of its own.

Even when not in combat, Life in the legion isn't summer camp by the lake, its absolutely brutal. Life is very Spartan, personal honor/conduct code is strictly enforced, and punishment (including corporal) punishment is quick and severe. The Legion is really meant for those who want a extreme disciplinary lifestyle.

Seriously you'd really be better off joining the regular military first (lots of people here can help you with that). While it isn't required, prior military will help you adapt to the Legion if thats the life you really want. Most legionnaires have prior military service.


"My center is giving way, my right is in retreat situation excellent. I shall attack." -Foch

I am from NYC. I fly a French flag because I work in Paris.

Last edited by mmarsh; April 26th, 2011 at 16:40..
 
April 26th, 2011   #8
LeMask
 
The pay is peanut by Western standards... But for an African, an Asian, or even South American "normal class" citizen... The pay is good.

And dont forget a french citizenship, or any European citizenship is like a diploma for some people... You take it. And the whole world open up its arms for you. You can go to Japan, to the US, the UK, to France or any country you want in the European union easily... And for those other countries, you can always ask for a visa, and guess what? they will give it easily...

But if you are from a poor country, no body wants your ass... Some might take you, but they will treat you like a slave.

The FFL is a door like another. And can you tell me about the casualty rates in the FFL? how many die in combat every year? 1%? Now, what are your chances to drown crossing the Mediterranean if you are Tunisian young boy trying to reach Europe by illegal means?

And mmarsh? did you see the ads they put everywhere for joining the military? "be all you can be." and "be more than yourself." etc... Just hilarious when you think about it.
Now, tell me one thing, why would a man risk his life to better himself if it's not to impress the women?

Why would a man join the Marines rather than the national guard? There is always someone to impress in the story, and it's probably a girl.
 
April 26th, 2011   #9
mmarsh
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeMask
The pay is peanut by Western standards... But for an African, an Asian, or even South American "normal class" citizen... The pay is good.

And dont forget a french citizenship, or any European citizenship is like a diploma for some people... You take it. And the whole world open up its arms for you. You can go to Japan, to the US, the UK, to France or any country you want in the European union easily... And for those other countries, you can always ask for a visa, and guess what? they will give it easily...

But if you are from a poor country, no body wants your ass... Some might take you, but they will treat you like a slave.

The FFL is a door like another. And can you tell me about the casualty rates in the FFL? how many die in combat every year? 1%? Now, what are your chances to drown crossing the Mediterranean if you are Tunisian young boy trying to reach Europe by illegal means?

And mmarsh? did you see the ads they put everywhere for joining the military? "be all you can be." and "be more than yourself." etc... Just hilarious when you think about it.
Now, tell me one thing, why would a man risk his life to better himself if it's not to impress the women?

Why would a man join the Marines rather than the national guard? There is always someone to impress in the story, and it's probably a girl.
The people who are asking here aren't from those countries, and not every legionnaire accepts to be a French citizen (I think its less than 50%).

I think you miss the point of the US military recruiting ads. I never once got that impression, and more to the point how many ads there are for the FFL? ZERO. There is no recruiting for the legion. The reason you don't see recruiting advertisements is because they are not looking for ordinary people. People who want to join find the Legion themselves, the legion doesn't try and find them.

Which is my entirely my point. If you have to ask about the Legion its probably not for you. I would think about joining a national army as a first step.

Last edited by mmarsh; April 26th, 2011 at 17:59..
 
April 26th, 2011   #10
LeMask
 
Yeah, you are right, the FFL is special... But they do have some subtle way to speak about the FFL. Their wine... The documentaries they make about it... They dont show it off openly, but they want to let some people hear about it...

But I'm somehow speaking for myself. If I join the FFL, it would be for the training... Not the service. (I believe it's never worth it unless you are in danger. And I'm not in danger right now.) not the pay...
It would be about ego. And I believe that the only reason we develop an ego is for girls... Sounds pathetic, but we are human beings... No interest for girls, no need to dominate our opponents to shine... No humanity.

And I liked this sentence:
If you have to ask about the Legion its probably not for you.

I think you are right on this one... I'm sure they have some "interesting" characters in their ranks...
 



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